Kootenai Falls

Lincoln, Montana

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Kootenai Falls has the lowest elevation of any major waterfall in Montana. Being one of the most awesome natural features in the state, it’s a very popular area for hikers of all ages and ability levels. A large volume of water cascades and falls in several places over interesting rock formations in the Kootenai River. Considered a sacred site for the Kootenai tribe, many have worked hard to ensure the waterfall remains in its undammed, natural state. At a T-junction, turn right and walk another tenth of a mile to the falls. The gorge exposes layers of sandstone and shale from the Belt Supergroup. The stair-stepping features are a result of ledges sliding over others in what is known as thrust faulting. As you scramble along the rocky outcroppings in search of your favorite views, stay clear of wet, slippery rocks and be especially careful if the water level is high. If you come at the right season, you may be able to swim in crystalline pools or spot bighorn sheep on the cliffs around the falls. You can also access views of the spectacle from above if you wish to extend the hike.
Hiking Waterfalls in Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Waterfalls in Montana

by John Kratz (Falcon Guides)

Kootenai Falls has the lowest elevation of any major waterfall in Montana. Being one of the most awesome natural features in the state, it’s a very popular area for hikers of all ages and ability levels. A large volume of water cascades and falls in several places over interesting rock formations in the Kootenai River. Considered a sacred site for the Kootenai tribe, many have worked hard to ensure the waterfall remains in its undammed, natural state.

At a T-junction, turn right and walk another tenth of a mile to the falls. The gorge exposes layers of sandstone and shale from the Belt Supergroup. The stair-stepping features are a result of ledges sliding over others in what is known as thrust faulting. As you scramble along the rocky outcroppings in search of your favorite views, stay clear of wet, slippery rocks and be especially careful if the water level is high. If you come at the right season, you may be able to swim in crystalline pools or spot bighorn sheep on the cliffs around the falls. You can also access views of the spectacle from above if you wish to extend the hike.

© 2017 John Kratz/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Lincoln
Distance: 1.0
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1 hour
Season: Apr-Nov
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Kootenai National Forest, 31374, US 2 Libby, MT 59923-3022; (406) 293-6211; fs.usda.gov/kootenai
Local Maps: DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer Montana Page 20, E4; USGS Quad Kootenai Falls
Driving Directions: Directions to Kootenai Falls

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Apr 2018